Can an inspection impose sanctions?

The Inspectorate of Taxes, in the exercise of their duties of verification and investigation, can punish tax violations committed by taxpayers. They can be simple or serious offenses.

Constituting grave breaches:

a) Stop full payment or part of the tax debt that are paid into account or in instalments, as well as retained amounts due or that have been retained. The surcharge is applied for late payments (see sections 1.7 and 2.4) which involves the exclusion of sanctions.

b) To enjoy or improperly obtain tax benefits, exemptions, rebates or refunds.

c) Determine or wrongly credit positive or negative items, or tax credits to deduct or compensate in the base or the fee, in personal statement or by third parties.

d) Determining taxable income or declare amounts to be charged to members of transparent companies that do not conform to reality.

e) Failure to submit, submit incorrectly or after the deadline statements or necessary documents so the Administration can settle those taxes that are not paid via self-assessment.

Other breaches of duties or tax obligations are simple infringements.

Tax violations can be penalised by a fixed or proportional monetary fine or lose the chance of obtaining subsidies and support, and enjoy benefits or tax incentives for a period of up to five years; prohibition during the same period, to make contracts with the State or other public entities and suspension of up to one year of performances of official professions, employment or public office.
In any event, the monetary fine is the most logical, in addition to the most common; it is the sanction of greater economic significance to the taxpayer.

The recent Law of Partial Reform of the General Tax Law has modified the sanctions regime, reducing the maximum limit of sanctions, all in order to avoid litigation that currently exists in the courts, both administrative and ordinary.

In general, serious offenses are punishable with a proportional fine of 50 to 150 percent of the tax debt, amount left to enter or from profit made or refund improperly obtained.

However, serious offenses involving the lack of income taxes passed on, (e.g. VAT), payments into corresponding accounts to benefits in kind or amounts withheld or that should have been retained on account (e.g. income tax) are punishable by a fine of 75 to 150 percent

If the offense consists in credited amounts, expenses or items to compensate or deduct from the basis of future returns, the penalty amounts to 10 percent of the amount of that concept (e.g. negative tax bases) and if it consists in proving unduly items to compensate the fee or apparent tax credits, the penalty to 15 percent of the unduly credited amounts (for example, deductions, allowances, etc..).

It should be clarified that the culpability of the taxpayer is an essential requirement for the imposition of a penalty, as is pointed out by the Supreme Court; guilt must be clear and be duly accredited to the record.

The Law of Partial Reform of the Tax Code has specifically collected, the principle of guilt, incorporating it into their text, excluding liability in cases in which they have placed the necessary diligence in fulfilling the obligations and tax obligations. In particular, the Act has been understood that the necessary diligence has been placed when the taxpayer has submitted a complete and accurate declaration and has practiced, where appropriate, the corresponding self-assessment, relying on a reasonable rule of interpretation.

With regards to the possibility of suspending the sanctions, see section 4.9 of this Manual.

Simple infringements constitute a violation of obligations or tax obligations when serious offenses are not constituted. Therefore, the corollary of simple offenses is very broad. They emphasize in particular in the lack of presenting statements, the breach of duties to provide data or information required by the Administration, the breach of accounting matter obligations, registration or census, breach of billing obligations, failure to communicate the NIF, resistance, refusal or excuse the actions of the Administration in any of its phases, etc ...
If the cast of simple offenses is broad, the repertoire of sanctions is even more. In general, each offense simply is punishable by a fine ranging between

1.000 to 150.000 pesetas. Nevertheless, the Act contains specialties in the following cases:
- Failure to provide information of third parties (fine of 1,000 to 200,000 pesetas for omitted data with a maximum of 3 percent of the transaction volume of the offender).
- Infringements affecting accounting are punishable with a fine of 25,000 to 1,000,000 pesetas (omission, inaccuracy, accounting operations on accounts with different names to its rightful according to their nature, etc...), Incorrect data transcription in tax declarations, consisting in the failure or delay in bookkeeping, accounting or keeping of various accounts, which consist in the failure to provide proof or accounting documents required by the Administration.

- Failure to comply with the obligation to provide census data on business or professional activities is punishable by a fine of 1.000 to 150.000 pesetas.
- The lack of use of NIF is punishable with a fine of pesetas 1.000 to 150.000 pesetas.
-The Resistance or refusal to excuse the actions of the Administration is punishable by a fine of 50,000 to 1,000,000 pesetas.